LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have an uphill battle once more in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, which is starting to become a rather familiar story season after season.
The Cavaliers lost Game 1 of the Finals 113-91 at the Oracle Arena on Thursday night, and although LeBron scored 28 points with 15 rebounds and eight assists to try and keep his team in the game, his mistakes elsewhere on the court lead to a Warriors victory.
The four-time MVP battled against Kevin Durant for most of the game and ultimately lost, as the Golden State star was able to score 38 points with nine rebounds and eight assists. His defense was simply too sloppy and lazy against a fellow MVP in such an important game.
Criticism towards LeBron has followed him since Thursday but according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Cavaliers star hasn't been paying any attention to it.
James said: "I really don't hear the noise. I couldn't really care less. It really doesn't matter to me. The narrative and people writing articles and things like that, I don't care. Those things doesn't bother me. So it's hard for me to even tell my teammates, hey, don't listen to it, because I don't even get involved in it.
"I stopped caring a long time ago, so it doesn't even bother me at all.
"I'm not in that department anymore. I left that in [my] 20s. I'm not in the 'prove people wrong, silence critics people' department no more. I got a promotion when I got to the 30s. So at the end of the day, I know what I've done and I know what I've built."
The success LeBron has earned throughout his career means he doesn't have to listen to the noise. A three-time NBA champion, four-time MVP, and 13-time All-Star means he's far away from focusing on what the media has to say about him. He's already accomplished so much that fans are saying he's on par or could be better than Michael Jordan.
However, that doesn't mean he is immune to mistakes, as he was responsible for eight of the Cavaliers' 20 turnovers that led to 21 points for Golden State. Cracking down on these could turn the series in Cleveland's favour.
We'll have to wait until later to see how LeBron and co. react to their Game 1 loss when Game 2 takes place this evening at the Oracle Arena, and if the Cavaliers star has reacted to the criticism he has received, whether he listens to it or not.